The Plan to Eat Podcast

#39: Interview with Linda Feller, of Sip + Sanity, on Party Planning

November 02, 2022 Plan to Eat Season 1 Episode 39
The Plan to Eat Podcast
#39: Interview with Linda Feller, of Sip + Sanity, on Party Planning
Show Notes Transcript

Linda Feller is a long-time Plan to Eat fan girl and the party lover behind Sip + Sanity, a food blog focused on recipes for entertaining. Sharing laughs over a good meal has always been a constant, no matter the path life has taken. She launched Sip + Sanity to share her love and passion for cooking and entertaining at home with everyone looking for a reason to celebrate!
In this episode, Linda shares her 7 tips for stress-free party planning to help us feel confident as we host holiday parties this season. We hope you enjoy!

Connect with Linda online:

Read Linda's blog of her 7 Tips for Entertaining:

Find Linda's recipes from the PTE Blog:

Connect with all the PTE Podcast recipes here
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I'm Riley and I'm Roni. And this is the plan to eat podcast, where we have conversations about meal planning, food, and wellness. To help you answer the question what's for dinner.

R&R: Hello and welcome to the Plan to Eat podcast. Today we got to interview Linda feller of the blog Sip and Sanity. Linda also writes for our blog, um, and we had a really fun conversation with her today.

So Linda basically breaks down her seven tips for stress free, entertaining and party planning. It was really helpful. She has some awesome tips. Riley and I are both maybe a little stressed out when it comes to the party planning situation, so this is really helpful for me and we hope that you guys will get a lot from it too.

Enjoy the show.

Linda, thanks for joining us today on the podcast. We're excited to talk to.

Linda: Oh, it's great to be here. Thanks for inviting me.

R&R: Well, to get started, why don't you tell everyone a little bit about you. Give us your bio and what you do for a living, and tell us about your blog.[00:01:00] 

Linda: Right. So, uh, my name is Linda Feller and I run the blog Sip and Sanity. Um, it's, it started out as sort of a lifestyle blog general. Generally speaking, and I quickly discovered that that wasn't gonna work for me. So , I quickly niche down into recipes and celebrations, because that's the thing I can talk about all the time, every day, all day.

I have a very wide ranging background though, so I've had my hand in sort of the corporate nine to five world. And, uh, I did work in food and beverage for a while, way back when. Also have a background in marketing and communications and all of that is to say that the one thing that has been the constant for me through that winding road has always been, um, entertaining at home specifically.

And cooking for people and throwing dinner parties and that kind of thing. It's something that I've always enjoyed doing and for a while there, when we had a little one at home, it was sort of a necessity. We [00:02:00] had to be at home and we had to invite everyone over. So that's been, that's been the passion and now it's become the thing that I do on a daily basis and I write about it and get to have fun and invite people over when I have extra things that I've tested

R&R: Oh, that's awesome. Well, Listeners who don't know. Linda started writing for our blog this year and it's been so awesome. Your recipes always look and sound amazing. Your pictures are so beautiful. So we've really loved having you on the blog and having your, your recipe expertise in our blog posts.

Linda: Well, I'm excited to do it, especially because you guys know I'm a total fan girl of Plan to Eat

R&R: now we've become fan girls of yours. Yeah. . And now it's Mutual. Yep. Well, I'm excited to talk about party planning. Um, it's about to be the holiday season, so I am so happy that we're here to talk about that. Yeah, I'm not the best host. I feel like that's something that I'm really trying to grow in, so I'm hoping to glean a lot from this conversation.

So, yeah, I would agree. I. I tend to stress out a little too much, I think, [00:03:00] when it comes to like throwing parties. Um, so we know you've written a blog before on Sip Insanity about stress free entertaining. Can you give us a few tips on how to stress less? 

Linda: Yeah. So I try to boil it down into like seven, seven easy tips. And, and a lot of this actually draws from sort of, um, my background in design and, The idea that, you know, your experience in a space also has to do with your ambiance, right? So it's not, it's not always the food, right? I mean, people come over for the food, a lot of times we're cooking at dinner or we're throwing a cocktail party or something like that.

But it's about so much more than that about creating this experience. So, in order to have that sort of memorable occasion that you want your guests to have, One of the obvious things is obvious is, you know, to plan ahead, right? I mean, not all of us are the best planners, but as much as you are able to, um, you know, make lists, write things down, keep a little notebook, whatever the case is, especially if you're someone who stresses out about that.

So, [00:04:00] you know, it's just a way to help you keep organized, something to reference back to, timelines, you know, that kind of thing. So that's, that's a number one, sort of an obvious thing, but that's it. And in, in addition to that, that planning and the making list, a couple of the things that, I think are important to do are, well, when you're sometimes you're just planning things for, you know, around a holiday.

Uh, and that's kind of an easy no-brainer, right? Thanksgiving, everybody knows. Well, there's usually gonna be a Turkey or you know, something to that

effect. But if you're doing something else, um, and you're just not really sure what direction to go, pick a theme. And I don't, I don't mean, you know, it has to be where you're going to the party store and buying everything theme like, you know, for that occasion.

But just pick a theme, something that you can use as a jumping board. So let's say you've got a craving for Italian food. Use that as you're jumping off point, right? Create a menu first, and then things tend to start to fall into place after that, once you figure that out. that's all about like the, the ahead of [00:05:00] time, the pre-planning?

R&R: So can I ask a

Linda: yeah, absolutely.

R&R: related to like planning ahead and creating lists, like what are different lists that you are thinking about? Like obviously you have like a food list, like what are some other things that you would be writing down to like keep track of?

Linda: But your guest list , obviously, right? You know, that's important. Um, Well, your shopping list. Once you figure out your menu, Dishes and things. I think I, I think a lot of people do this, but one of the things that helps me sort of stay organized, and that is, so it's not really a list, it's more of like a physical thing, but you can kind of lump it up into that, that area is pulling up all of the serving dishes that you're gonna need based on your menu.

Right. And just have that set aside. I even put post-it notes on stuff sometimes, just so I know. So it's, you know, you're still writing things down, but that's, that's another example of, of a way to get organized around. Your party or your event.

R&R: While I'm not the best party planner, when I do plan them, I really rely on this first tip because [00:06:00] that's kind of how I get through my life if lists. Mm-hmm. . Um, but the thing that came to mind is like just a general to-do list, like mail invitations, if that's what I'm doing. Or vacuum . Yeah. 

Linda: right. 

R&R: like, uh, okay, this day I need to make sure I do all of these things.

Um, go to Costco, like go to, I'll run all my errands. Like it, it's just like, it's more than the food and more than the like actual food shopping. It's like all the like little tiny things that like have to happen in order to make the party, Yeah,

successful ,but that maybe shouldn't, maybe I'm crazy to put vacuum on a list, but I gotta get it outta my brain.

Or it just, it makes me more

Linda: No. Yeah, absolutely. There's nothing wrong with that.

R&R: Yeah, like new buy, new air freshener or the bathroom or something. stock toilet paper, like,

Linda: Oh yeah, that's an important one

R&R: yeah. Yeah. So your second one with creating the mood, do you use things like Pinterest to kind of come up with like ambience things that you could kind of pull from,

Linda: sometimes. Um, I, I [00:07:00] used to, you. Years ago, that

was definitely, Well, it's not so much that. I think more now, more it's about simplifying a little bit. Right. Um, well, so one of the things that, when I was working on my master's thesis, the thing that I had to work on was, or had to, things I had to consider was the, the audience of this restaurant, let's say.

And, and it had to do with not just, People come, they're coming there for the food, but what is keeping them there? What is making them spend more money? That kind of thing. And so all of that translates into the experience that guests are having in your home too. So temperature right is too hot, Is it too cold?

Lighting. I mean, I just went to a restaurant the other night and the lighting was, the place has so much potential. It's a beautiful space, but the lighting was really harsh. And so my husband and I the whole time were like, you know, trying to keep that the light out of our eyes and it, it, it diminished the experience a little bit.

Music sound, right, All of those things. You know, the sense, so all the [00:08:00] experience, all the all five senses and the way that we experience space have something to do with that. So, . That's sort of what I'm thinking in terms of creating that ambiance. So you know dead of summer, you're throwing a party, maybe some of it's outside, maybe some of it's inside.

Once you have hot bodies in a room, you've gotta crank that AC down, right? You want people to be comfortable and not you. Sweating, music, Is it too loud? Is it too soft? You know, you wanna create a mood and you can do that very easily through your, your, you know, sense of hearing and auditory. Then when it comes to lighting, you know, Well, you can use lighting as a Q too.

That was the other . That's another kind of aspect of that, but, I like to have lights on everywhere. I mean, I think some people may tend to just turn lights on in the rooms they're using, but you know, people are moving through a space, they're going to the bathroom, you know, you wanna have a little hall light on whatever the case is.

We have everything in our house on dimmers so we can kind of. Walk around and adjust accordingly to sort of [00:09:00] set a scene and create intimacy where we want it. Have better task lighting where we need it, that kind of thing. Um, candles, obviously, Tinley lights, those kinds of things can come into play if you're not, you know, if you don't have all the.

The bells and whistles are ways to adjust things. It's also, I mentioned, you know, it can be a cue too at the end of the night, maybe the lights come up a little bit . Right. It's a single, you know, you, you do that when you, you've been out in, I don't know, a concert hall or some 

R&R: High High School prom. Yeah. 

You know, 

Linda: Right.

Yeah. You know, they turn all the lights on, it's time to go home, people. 

R&R: Well, light is a light is one that I think, um, it's interesting that you bring up, because as you're talking, I'm thinking about places I've been like for parties or people's houses, and when lights are off, I feel like I'm not supposed to go there. Mm-hmm. . Even if the bathroom is at the end of said dark hallway

Linda: Mm. 

R&R: it feel, it can feel a little bit like this space is off limits.

Um, so I love that you brought that up because I think it's something really subtle, but can [00:10:00] add a lot because then I feel more welcomed. Like if I'm at somebody's house, maybe that I don't even know very well. But the hall light is off, but the bathroom's down there, I'm gonna feel like I'm snooping or something.

Yeah. Instead of just, you know, doing a normal thing. . Yep. Um, and so I really, I love that you brought that one up, cuz to me it feels like, maybe something that not everyone would even think of. Mm-hmm. , like, you know, they're worrying about the food, they're worrying about the, maybe the candles that are lit or the music, but they're not thinking about having lights at a certain level or even just on mm-hmm.

Linda: Mm-hmm. Yeah. And for a very practical purpose,

R&R: Yeah. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Just


Linda: Yeah. It's also like way finding,



way finding, right? 

R&R: Oh yeah, totally. Yep. Absolutely. That's a good one. All right, so what's tip number three?

Linda: tip number three. Okay. Don't cook everything.

R&R: Hmm.

Linda: You just don't have to Um, I have, I have been that person where I had to cook everything and we've had. Well, there was the great polenta fiasco. I won't [00:11:00] go into

R&R: Yeah.

Linda: but it was pretty hilarious. But no, you know, there's, um, when you're creating a menu, obviously, you know, you can, you can pick one dish that's your, it's the thing, right?

It's like that impressive thing that you bring out to the table. You know, easily Thanksgiving, it's a Turkey or maybe a big roast or something like that. Focus on that, make that a lot of other things you can, you know, you can make ahead, right? So, I mean, you are cooking, but maybe you're making it ahead.

But dessert, like I'm, I'm a huge fan of buying dessert just mostly because I'm not a huge baker. Like I can follow instructions and I can bake a thing, but it's. It doesn't bring me a great amount of joy, so I don't do it. Especially when we have great bakeries nearby. And then, you know, like appetizers, charcuterie boards, right?

Like you don't have to cook. You can assemble that. And that's such an easy thing. And very, it can be a very simple and impressive thing. And people, everybody loves cheese and charcuterie. Well, [00:12:00] almost, but, uh, but you get the idea, right? So those are things you can definitely, Take shortcuts on, so to speak, in the cooking realm.

Um, salads and cold dishes like are also great things. They come together quickly and they don't require a lot of time, so you can focus your energy on that one. Impressive, you know, item 

R&R: Yeah, all of those feel really supplemental. Like, they make the meal great, but they're not like the main part of the meal. Um, and I feel like it's just a really awesome, like, giving people permission to like, just like this is about stress, right? So like we're, we're not stressing, like giving people permission to go and buy a premade dip or like go and put the charco on a board and.

Linda: right.

R&R: I think it's something like, especially in my, like trying to be a better party planner thing, I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to make everything and make everything perfect and bake the cake for the birthday party. And, uh, but nobody really probably cares as much as I do. Right. And if [00:13:00] I can help myself enjoy it more by just, I'm just gonna buy that because I can support my favorite bakery, or it's just not that big of a deal to buy the spinach jar dip, pre-made, like

Just kinda giving myself permission to, like, that's not the thing I'm gonna stress about here. Uh, I I really love that that's on the list.

Linda: Yeah. Cuz you're part of the, you're part of the party

too, I mean, 

R&R: Yeah. Well, and I was gonna say, I think that a lot of times when you go to a party, like by the time that you, that everybody's like ready for dessert, a lot of times I carry like full, you know, like, like dessert is one of those things that like, unless I'm going to somebody's house who I know is like they are dessert chef , and I'm like so excited for their dessert, I'm like, Man, I usually, I'm gonna like nibble on dessert.

You know? So like getting some, so like instead of spending all of your time being like, I have to make this like amazing cake or you know, pie or something, it. More than likely, it's something that everybody's gonna be like, Yeah, it's kind of whatever. Because we've already had our fill with everything.

Linda: That's right. I'm, I'm glad you brought that up, cuz actually one of my favorite desserts to serve is just a platter of cookies [00:14:00] with maybe an after dinner drink or coffee and tea. And we, so we have the, uh, a family owned. Stores out here, grocery stores called Wegmans, uh, sort of like in the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast.

And they have this great like cookie bar in their, in their, sort of their prepared food sections. And what I loved is you could just go and buy cookies by the pound and a lot of grocery stores suits, I'm sure. So you go and you can pick out all kinds of different things and there's something for everybody.

and you just lay them out on a platter. You know that I love doing that and usually I get really good response when I , when I just serve up cookies. Cuz you're right, people are, people are full and they just kind of want a little something to relax with and have a cup of coffee and it's,

R&R: Yeah. And they could totally decline the cookie and just have the coffee, but it doesn't feel like they're like saying no to this thing you made. It's just like, this is an option. It's here if you 

Linda: Yes. Oh, here's my four tier cake. You have to have a 


R&R: Right, 

right. That, yeah. That feels so different to be like, I, I spent seven hours making this cake [00:15:00] for you.

You have to eat. Now I have been there before where I have made things at a birthday party and I was, or even I bought 'em, and I just say something like, These cannot stay here. You guys can take one for the road, but these cannot stay here. 37 cupcakes cannot stay here. But I love the idea, just like a little cookie bar with like coffee or after dinner drinks and then it's just very low key.

It doesn't feel so much pressure to, like, when you're, you said you're already full, like add in cuz you feel like this obligatory like. I need to do this cause this person made it. It just kind of feels like more casual I think, that way, which I think is nice. And that makes your guests feel good too.

Linda: Yeah, for sure. So next tip,

R&R: Yeah. Take us into the next one.

Linda: ask for. I think, you know, we all wanna take things on by ourselves and we're like, we can do everything, but you don't have to do everything. So yeah, ask for help ahead of time, right? Like, you know, around here we sort of, well in every household, right? Everybody sort of falls into their, their household roles and [00:16:00] responsibilities and, um, whenever we're having, people over, we divide and conquer.

I think my husband just sort of knows, like, okay, it's that time I have to go do this and I have to go do that. Right. But, you know, if your family members don't know, ask for help. It's, that's, you know, if it, especially if they're a company you, or if they're gonna be part, part of the party or, you know, co-hosting with you, then definitely, um, do that.

But right before the party too, I think, one of the, one of the ways to. Oh, what am I trying to say? Well, , so you may, you may have a friend, like you invite a friend or two who, um, especially if it's a, a party where. People don't know each other. You know, maybe they're not all from the same social group or whatever.

And there might be a couple of them, one or two that are super shy, just not as outgoing. That's a great opportunity to invite that person over or those couple of people and have them help you with prep right beforehand. And you know, you can just say, Hey, why don't you come over a little bit early? I could use the [00:17:00] help.

We can catch up a little. Before everybody else shows up, it helps ease them into, you know, being introduced to all these new folks. And it helps you too, in the process.

R&R: I love that. I love that because, um, I'm much more of an introverted person in general. And so like if somebody were to do that and then I was able to kind of like meet the guest like one person at a time, I think that like for me personally, I'd be like, Oh, that was like more comforting because instead of just being like thrown into the mix and then you feel like I don't even know anybody's name anymore, uh, there's like a little more personal aspect to that.

So, you know, if you have a friend who's like an extreme introvert, maybe they're the person to invite to.

Linda: Right. And do you find too that like having something to do, like even say during the party where, you know, task me with something, it kind of keeps your hands busy, it makes things more comfortable and it gets you to interact with other people too that you might not, If you're the person who's in charge of making sure everybody's wine glasses are full, right?

You become the [00:18:00] best person at the party, , 

right? And you'll have an opportunity to interact and not 

feel so awkward and. 

R&R: Well, yeah. And it's better than just like standing in the corner being like, I'll just s sip my wine by myself. Well, yeah. Cause that's such a barrier to entry with conversation. Like, Hey, can I refill your drink? Like, it kinda like gives you a starting point for somebody, for somebody who is more introverted.

Yeah. So I mean, Admittedly, I'm an extrovert, but I like jobs . I like to have something to do. And so I, but I could just see that being a really like, a as an extrovert, there's still times at parties where I don't know very many people and I feel really cautious. Mm-hmm. enter into a conversation with somebody, I don't know.

So just having something to do that's like, Hey, uh, I'm filling up drinks. Like, would you guys want something else? Like Yeah. It kinda gives you a task that you were assigned.

Linda: Mm-hmm.

R&R: Make conversation easier, which I think is just as much part of party planning as anything else. Yeah,

Linda: Yeah. Yeah.

R&R: I have good friends who are really good about asking me, Hey, what can I bring? Or, [00:19:00] Hey, can I come early to help you with something? And I'm not one to ask for help as much as I should. And so I really appreciate when people do that because it gives me an opportunity to take advantage of that.

Um, but I don't always think like, Oh, I should have her come 20 minutes early to do whatever, fill up balloons or set out all the food with me. And then it is also fun cuz you know, you

want to spend a little extra time with friends.

Linda: Yeah, 

R&R: Yeah, I like that. So related to these last two of, um, don't cook everything and, you know, ask for help.

What's your feeling on having like a potluck situation? I feel like that would kind of, that could kind of, solve both of these problems a little bit is like inviting other people to also to bring food so you don't have to cook everything. But then it's also getting a lot of help, particularly with the

Linda: Yeah. Yeah. I love a pot.

R&R: Yeah.

Linda: I'm all for, but , um, especially if you're in the pre-planning, you've picked a theme, right? It makes it really easy. Then, you know, you can, if you decide what you want your main thing to be, you can communicate [00:20:00] that to everybody you've invited and say, Hey, we're gonna do a potluck.

It's going to be. Mediterranean themed. Right. That, that's a lot, That's a broad spectrum of things. I'm gonna make this right. Feel free to bring, you know, a s side dish, a dessert or whatever. Have fun with it. Who cares? It's a good time. I mean, if you're worried about having 17 hummus platters, then, then, you know, maybe communicate that as well, right?

Like, you know, or categorize things. But, um, yeah, I think definitely and it, and, and act too is also a good, A good way to break down barriers, right? Oh, what did you make and what did you make? And this is delicious. Can I have your recipe? And yeah,

R&R: Yeah. Food like that is always a good connection point. And there's like a sense of pride to it. You know, when like when I go to a potluck, I'm like, I'm gonna bring my best thing. Mm-hmm. , you know, because you want people to like, give you the praise of like, Wow, this is so, makes me. No, I made it myself. Well, there's certain holidays too where I feel like potlucks, like, like to me Thanksgiving or like a Friendsgiving, [00:21:00] um, it's like a really special time to have a potluck because, um, particularly, I mean, I don't know. I feel like I know tons of people from all over the country and like what their favorite thing is or about Thanksgiving is very different than my favorite thing about Thanksgiving.

And so if I'm invited to a party like that or if I host a party, like. I love the opportunity to make sure that like, my favorite thing is there, . Yeah. And so if I'm given the option of like, Hey, we're gonna have Thanksgiving. Like, what do you guys wanna bring? I immediately jump on, like you said, your best thing, but.

Also your favorites. Yeah. And it's like, that to me makes Thanksgiving away from maybe away from family, more special because it gives you an opportunity to like have the things that are very nostalgic to you and then share them with other people. Um, I don't know. I love parties like that. Like I, like, I mean, I just, I love to go to potlucks, that, that just feels really like Yeah.


oriented. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. I really like that.

Linda: Yeah. And, and you know, along the lines of what you said, although also the, uh, the traditions, [00:22:00] the family traditions, right? I mean, obviously everybody's got their favorites, but there could be some really interesting backstories too. Like why is this, Is this a family recipe? You know, you can share these experiences from your past with or through your at a 

R&R: it's another varied entry with conversation cuz it kinda gives you the, especially if you brought something a bit off the beaten path, like, uh, why do you have this at Thanksgiving? Mm-hmm. . Well, I don't know, but what I do know is that my grandma has made it my entire life and I can't not have it. So.

Yeah. Um, uh, so whatever that thing might be, I, I it's another kinda like barrier to like conversation. Yeah. Yeah, you said that so much better than I did. The word tradition is something I couldn't come up with when I was saying that, so thank you.

Linda: So, um, tip number, whatever tip we're on, I don't remember. Anyway, we'll just go through them. Something like that. Yeah. So, um, the other thing I would say, shop your home. So I mentioned earlier, going to the party store and buying all the little, you know, themeing, knacks and stuff like that. But [00:23:00] I'm a huge fan of working with what I have, right?

So early on I kind of figured out I need a neutral palette to work with. So all of my, you know, this is boring for some people. Everybody does their own thing, but this is, this is my thing. All my dishes are. The entire, you know, we have, they're, they're in different sizes and shapes and all this, but they're all white.

So no matter what happens when I put everything on the table, there is some cohesiveness, right? But that's me and design background, and I'm a little, you know, nutty about that. But, That's my neutral palette. That's the jumping off point. So whether you're working seasonally for a holiday or whatever, I like to go around my house first and figure out, Okay, so I don't know St.

Patrick's Day, I'm just trying, I'm pulling something out. You know, what are we thinking? You know, Irish flags, what so orange? Or what is the orange? Right? Orange and green, or whatever. Um, you know, but you have, I mean, chases are, you have things in your house already that sort of speak to that. and not being blatant, but more [00:24:00] in a subtle sense.

So whether you grab a green scarf and throw it on the table as a table runner or you know, you don't have to go and go over the top. And, and it's okay to be subtle too, I think, in that sense. And it saves, it saves you money, it saves you time. The other thing I love is, I say shop your home, but shop your yard too.

So, I mean, we have, we, we live kind of in the woods here. I mean, there's woods all around us, but. And we have a, a lot of plants outside , most of the time they need a little haircut. Uh, so I'll go out there and just snip a few things and throw 'em in a bug base, um, without even having to go buy flowers, for instance, just to dress up a table or create a centerpiece, cost me nothing and it's easy.


R&R: Yeah, I'm thinking even things like, you know, like a juniper bush or whatever, you know, like clippings from your juniper bush could be like easily made into a centerpiece or something at your table and like, that's not something that I would normally think about doing. But since you mentioned it, it's like, Oh yeah, well, like fern type bushes and stuff are perfect for[00:25:00] 

Linda: right. And if you have like a pretty bowl, throw some of that in there. And then fresh fruit. If you have fresh fruit around your house all the time,

like put that on the table, you're done.

R&R: These are such good tips. Yeah. I love these. This is a great list. Mm-hmm. , you're so good. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Even, even just like all your dishes being white, I'm thinking, Oh, that's no problem. Yeah. S like, so I don't have a neutral starting point.

Linda: Oh. I mean, they don't necessarily have to be, we, I mean, you know, like, cuz there's something to be said too, right? You like if, if you're somebody who likes to go antiquing and you like vintage dishes, but all of that can work together, even if they're different patterns and then mix and match and all that.

People, you can make a work, you can find a way to make it work. It's all good.

R&R: I just need to hire her to come to my house. Yeah. Yeah. hire you to be our party planning committee over here. Yeah,

Linda: goodness.

R&R: Sorry. Okay. What's your next tip?

Linda: Okay, so, oh, leave cleanup for later. This one's a really hard one for me because I come from a long line of cleaner [00:26:00] uppers. Like as soon as food's gone

right, ,it goes away. So when I'm with family, because that's where I got it from, I, it's, it is totally inherited. You know, when you're in Rome, do as the Romans do, so we clean up.

But when we have friends over, you know, neighbors and friends, I don't necessarily like wanna whisk everything away all at once or I have to force myself not to. Mostly because I think it's a huge mood killer. , right? I mean, like the super big things. You, you, you know Sure. Take those into the kitchen, stack them in the sink, whatever it is.

Um, but it's okay to leave. Things as they are for a little while or not to do the dishes right away, load the dishwasher right away. It's okay to leave it right. And if you don't wanna do it that night after people leave, then you know, you might have to use a little extra elbow grease in the morning, but it's okay.

Give yourself permission to just let it go and enjoy your guests in your company.

R&R: Well, there's a lot of things [00:27:00] behind this. Like, one is like you get to spend time enjoying it instead of cleaning it up. Mm-hmm. , But I always, my husband is the one who always likes to clean up. Admittedly, I just don't like to clean the kitchen, so I'd rather hang out with my friends and then clean the kitchen later.

Okay. About a side. He always wants to do that and I, and I appreciate that a lot. Um, but sometimes when I'm at people's houses and that happens, it turns into, like everybody goes into the kitchen to clean up mm-hmm. . And so I try to not let that happen in my house cuz I'm like, well, let's just all hang out.

And these people feel like obligated to help clean. And I don't want anybody to feel that way at a party. I, I want everyone to just be able to enjoy themselves. Yeah. Um, now granted when I'm at my friend's houses and that happens, like I want to help them clean up. Like I'm genuinely happy to do that. but I just think there's something nice about just leaving it and just spending the time and then nobody has to do it.

I mean, well, I'll have to do it later. The next day or that later that night, but then like nobody has to like, leave the party to, to go do it. Um, yeah, I mean, I just, we all have friends who are helpers, you know, like mm-hmm. who are gonna wanna [00:28:00] come and join you and, um, there's some element of like, let's just enjoy our time together and like, just clean up later.

Linda: Well, I would say there's, there's sort of a nonverbal element to that. When you, you know, you're rushing everything into the kitchen and you start cleaning up, it's, you're sending a signal, right? Like you're communicating, Oh, party's over people. It's time to go. And maybe you don't want it to be, but you're sending, you're, you know, you're sending subtle communications out like,

R&R: So if you do want the party to be over, turn the lights up and

start cleaning. 

Linda: start cleaning.


R&R: Also at some parties, like if it's like appetizers and stuff, like you kind of want that to be out the whole night. 

Um, so that is kind of a nice thing about appetizers, like that can just stay out and it doesn't feel like you have to immediately clean it up. Yeah. I mean there's obviously some like kitchen safety things around leaving food out for hours.

But if it's things that can just stay out for people to munch on the whole time, that kind of is a nice way to like, not have to clean up, just kind of leave it. Mm-hmm. , if you need to give yourself like, I'm not gonna clean up this party before it's over. [00:29:00] Let's do appetizers. Yeah.

Linda: Or you know, you pay your teenager to

R&R: Yeah.

Linda: be the buss person. do the cleanup for you.

R&R: So with your family and like everyone being like the cleaner little busy bees that you wanna go clean up, does that become like quality time? And so you're okay with it? With them because it's just like, all of us do this, so we're gonna just do it together. Um, as opposed to like leaving, like, you know, if your kitchen is separate from your house, like separate from like your living area or wherever the party is, like, you kinda have to like leave the party to go clean up.

But if everyone's doing it together, that's kind of just a continuation of the party. Is that kind of how it happens?

Linda: It. It is. Well, yes. I mean, for our family, it does not signal the end of the party. And, and a lot of times though, it's, it's because like we're we, we've traveled somewhere, so we're staying at their house anyway. Right. But it's like, let's just do it. Let's get it out of the way, and then we can sit and relax the rest of the night, you know, and play games and drink wine and, you know, just hang out.

[00:30:00] So it's, that's sort of a different scenario, you know, I mean, with.

R&R: Yeah.

Linda: You know, and, and, and two, like if, if there's a lot of people, like we were just all together recently and there's only so much room in the kitchen, so you know, maybe three or four of us are doing the cleanup and you know, it's okay. It'll work.

Yeah, you work it out, you figure it out.

R&R: Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Linda?

Linda: Um, I'm gonna say somewhere in between. It depends on the mood, right? I think growing up I was definitely more introverted. Um, my husband when we met, he was the life of the party, and so I just kind of tagged along. But I think we've had a little role reversal over the last however many years it's been.

R&R: Well, the reason why I ask is because I could just. For many of my introverted friends, there's an element of like, I'm gonna go clean cuz I just need a minute. Mm-hmm. like, I just need a minute. And, and in that situation I feel like cleaning up before the party's over is perfectly acceptable because if you just need [00:31:00] a minute to like be alone to wash some dishes,

so you're not, that's perfectly acceptable.

Roni, you speak to that? yeah, I mean that would certainly be a tactic. I do agree with you though, Linda, that like, when even doing that as just like of a, uh, like just, you know, the only person who's going to go clean and kind of like steal away from the party for a minute. There is an aspect where people all of a sudden, like, you can be gone for five minutes only, and people are like, Wait, where'd Roni go?

You know? Yeah. And there is a little bit of an aspect that they're. There are certainly some people who will start to feel guilty of like, well, why is she cleaning up B by herself? 

You know? And so that's who Riley is, uh, And so though, yeah, I feel like, um, even though I'm introverted, I kind of have to like, like pull myself back from doing things like that and being like, If I need a break, I'll just go like.

Go hang out in the bathroom for minutes. I dunno, Right. Well unfortunately, like even in this conversation, I'm realizing that maybe my introverted friends need a minute. not, It's not that like, oh my gosh, they [00:32:00] can't clean by themselves, which is me for sure. like, and realizing that like me interjecting any of the cleaning is actually me taking away from their quiet time. Cause I will make conversations. I'm sorry Roni, it's I'm learning. I just wanted something.

Linda: Uh, no, that's good. I'm glad you brought that up. I think it's super important and yeah. Good for you, Riley

R&R: growing. Okay. I think you have maybe one more tip on your list,

Linda: Yes. Actually, this is a great segue because my, the last one is to take a moment of zen,

right? So, Okay. Maybe it's, maybe it's during cleanup time. I, I'm suggesting do it ahead of time. I mean, you know, you can, you can get really amped up

when you're planning a party, especially for a group of people you are not very familiar with.

Um, or maybe it's family, you know, whatever it is that's Well, that creates stress. 

Let's just say. So, you know, if you can [00:33:00] plan into your schedule, right? So you've made your list and you've planned ahead and you know your timeline for your food and you've ticked off all the boxes and whatnot, plan yourself to like 10, 15 minutes.

Before everybody shows up to just sit and do whatever it is that you need to do, right? So maybe you wanna lay on the floor and like veg out, or you wanna just have, you know, your own little glass of wine before people show up. Um, or you know, if you've invited that friend over, sit and do it together.

Like have a few minutes to catch up. Maybe give them a low down on, you know, like, okay, this is this person and this is this person, and how, how we know each other and you. Just take a few minutes for yourself so you're deep breath know that it's gonna be cool.

R&R: I love picturing you laying on the floor of your living room, just like taking a in. It's so funny. Yeah. There you go. What were you gonna say? Oh, I was gonna say, I mean, as we've talked about, I'm the introvert, so to me this is like the most important tip because there have been so many times when I've had people come over and you're just racing until [00:34:00] the very last minute, and then people show up and you're still like, Okay, now we're, we're doing this Okay. But on the flip side, I have some like anxiety. Mm. Okay. Like, um, so like I get anxious to leave my house for work in the morning, and I, like, nobody cares if I'm one minute late. I care and I like get anxious about it. But, so before a party, like I can be like, jazzed and then people get there and I'm like, too much and I'm like, I'm like buzzing.

Like not buzzing, like

My energy level is just. I'm just like, my whole body's like humming or whatever. Yeah. It's like, Hello, welcome to my party. You're here. And I talk too fast and I like get so excited. So taking a minute to like take a deep breath would probably be really good for me. , but 15 minutes is a long time, so I'm actually glad you put a number on it because I'd probably just be like, Someone's ringing in the doorbell.

Okay. Deep breath. Okay. Can I answer the doorbell ? So giving me, Okay. It probably needs to be longer than two deep breaths. Uh, to just have a [00:35:00] minute is prob it's really good advice for me. Yeah. 

Linda: So one of the things that didn't come up in this, but I, I should, I wanted to talk about or point out to you is that when I started Sip and Sanity, it was, I launched in June of 2020, so, We were already in it, right in the thick of things. Um, at that time we didn't really know that it was gonna like, veer off toward recipes and entertaining, but that's, that's how it, how it happened.

One of the things that I think we've all learned over the last couple of years though, is that the rules have changed, right? So like, I'm right and we're talking to each other. I'm in a sweatshirt and leggings, and this is my daily 

R&R: That's 

Linda: right? So, And I think, um, gosh, no. I mean, I don't know how many times, like over the last several months you, I've gotten together with girlfriends and they're like, Do you care if I just wear, you know, my sweats?

I'm like, I don't care what you do how you come, right. Don't, you don't even have to brush your hair. It's fine. All the rules have changed. So, I think it, [00:36:00] I, I think in a good way. So, you know, All these, I don't know, like the etiquette books and you know, you have to do this and you have to do that. Those, those days, I mean, for some people are still around, but I think for most of us, they're gone.

So entertaining at home is, is a different thing and I think it's become, um, Well, the pandemic has given us an opportunity to sort of take stock and say, Okay, when people come over, let's focus on what's really important. And that's the, that communal aspect and the, the communication between us and the interaction and having fun and having laughs and not worrying about the dust bunnies under the furniture.

And, nobody cares. Nobody's gonna remember that, right? They'll remember that you were hospitable, that you welcomed them. And that they had a good time and they'll wanna come back and do it again. So keep it casual. Don't sweat it. It's all good.

R&R: I really love, I really love this one. Yeah, because I think there's [00:37:00] an element of like the facade has lifted in some ways, like , but there's like this level of genuine. That has come out of just like, like come as you are. I really don't care if you come in your pajamas. Like yeah, if that's up to you, like however you're gonna feel your best, just come that way.

Um, or maybe you're not feeling your best come that way too, cuz we still want you here and we still wanna enjoy our time together. So I really love that. And I mean obviously it's come out of like a really challenging thing, but there's this level of just. Now just what do you need? Like, just come that way, like

It's okay. Um, and I, I think there's something to be said that's like really valuable about that. Yeah. I was gonna say that. I just went over to my neighbor's house for dinner the other night and I went in my sweatshirt and leggings and I even just wore my slippers cause I was like, We're walking across the street.

I'm not gonna put like, I don't need to like lace up my tennis shoes. And when I walked in the door she was like, I'm so glad you're dressed casually cuz I didn't wanna get out of my sweatpants. And I was like, Seat, it's perfect

Linda: We are all good.

R&R: But I've, I've started [00:38:00] texting people, like, how are we showing up to this

Like, um, which I probably wouldn't have before. Yeah. And I, there's like a level of freedom in that. Cause almost everyone's reaction is like, can we please just like go in our sweatpants? Yeah. Or like, or our leggings and sweatshirts or like, whatever, can we just please go this way? Because just more comfortable Yeah.

Being honest. Like it's just really more comfortable. Yeah. So I like that.

Linda: for sure. Well, and even the way that we entertain has become different, right? I mean, you know, so for, for a long time it's like, well, you have to do everything outside

and. You know, in a way it's kind of cool, right? So I, I'm a fan of alliteration, so I love . I love coming up with little ways, little things to say about, you know, what we're, how we're entertaining or what kind of party we're throwing.

And I have been wanting to do drinks in the driveway for.

R&R: Cute.

Linda: long time. Cause we don't, we actually don't spend time in our backyard. We sit on our front porch, well it's not really a porch, but we sit on what is the front porch, and, you know, [00:39:00] wave at the neighbors when they come by. And, you know, it's a very walkable neighborhood.

So finally the other night I was actually recipe testing. And I had a pitcher of sangria and I'm like, Well, I can't drink all of this by myself. So

R&R: nor would you want to 

Linda: I'm like, Hey, let's do drinks in the driveway. And they, you know, we threw out camp chairs and we all just sat around for an hour and a half and just chit chatted.

And it was, you know, it was kind of perfect. And that, that to me is sort of like the, I mean, that's the way that I would, I wanna entertain. I just wanna be, I just want it to be, you know, people know they can just pop. Or stop by spur of the moment. It's all good. It's casual. Nobody cares, you know? we have a good time,

R&R: I love, uh, I feel like we're kindred spirits in the alliteration thing because this is very random to tell you right now, but in college I had gotten to a car accident, very minor, but I was in like a caravan of a bunch of people going to like another city for this like conference thing. And so all these random people I pulled over to like, Me with this car accident [00:40:00] situation and my car was in a ditch.

We had to get it out. It's a long story. So I threw apart very, very loose. This is like, when I say party, it's a really, like, that's too strong of a word for what this one . But I text all these people cuz they weren't friends. Like some of them were, but it was mostly just like these, like this random group of people.

And my maiden name is Reid. So I invited, I. Come to Riley Reid roadside reunion. Oh. And I threw a little, like, thank you for helping me party again. Loose on the party. I love that. Um, but it was just like super casual. I made homemade ice cream and I just was like, Thanks for saving me . Um,

Linda: That's awesome.

R&R: I love, I love a good alliteration party.

Linda: Right on

R&R: Uh, so what's your favorite holiday or occasion to throw party?

Linda: Oh my goodness. Um, okay. You may have stumped me on this one. I'm not really sure to be honest. Okay, So No, no, no, no. Here we go. Here we go. I know what it's, it's not really, I will say I love [00:41:00] entertaining in. In those in between times, right? Like spring and fall, when you can spend that time outside, like I'd love an el fresco 

dinner, um, with the twinkly lights and the little fire blazing outside and, um, it just seems so, I don't know.

It brings me back to Normandy, a vacation we took and it was, it was in June and you know, so the weather, the weather there. Still really quite lovely. Hadn't gotten hot. And it would stay light where we were stayed light until 10 o'clock at night. We had no idea what time it was. And we'd start dinner, you know, at seven o'clock and before you know it, it's 10 and we think an hour has passed by and we're just hanging out in the garden.

And, just enjoying, you know, the ambience. But I love that like, you know, People mingling around outdoors and it just feels more relaxed and

R&R: And also kind of romantic. Mm-hmm. , 

the way you're describing like I can just like picture this, like twinkly lights everybody outside, just really romantic 

Linda: Mm-hmm. 

R&R: I like that.

Linda: the [00:42:00] tiki torches and all

R&R: Yeah, that sounds great. I actually like that you didn't choose a specific holiday. Yeah, I do too. 

Because it actually shows how much you love to like, have parties and just like host people because you like to host in the in between.

Um, which is good. I mean, that's a great quality. Uh, but I think it's easy for people to like latch on like, okay, it's time for a party because it's Thanksgiving, or it's time for a party because it's. St. Patrick's Day . Um, but you like to host in the in-betweens, which is, uh, clearly shows your love of parties.

So, and I love that. That's great. And I think often those are the best parties because, because it's not like a holiday or specific occasion, there's less pressure Oh, yeah. Put on the occasion, you know, it's like when you have something like a, a Christmas or Thanksgiving or whatever, it's like, well, everybody has their expectations of what this is supposed to look like, quote unquote, you know.

Whereas it's just, you know, it's the longest day of the year we're having Equinox party, you know, like come and hang out until the sun goes down. then everybody just gets to like hang out and [00:43:00] do what they wanna do. And potentially less stress for the host because like, I feel like I'm thinking Thanksgiving, like, gotta roast the Turkey, but wait, what about the ham?

People gotta have a, like, where am I getting these things? Am I making them like, Yeah. So I, I like that. Yeah, I did too.

Okay, well we don't wanna take up your whole day, Linda, but why don't you tell everybody, uh, where they can find you online, connect with you, that

Linda: Yeah. Yeah. So, you can find me at all spelled out. Um, I'm also on Instagram at Sip and Sanity, as well as Facebook, Same handle.

R&R: Excellent. Cool. Perfect. We'll, we'll link to those in our show notes and then we like to finish asking everybody what, uh, delicious recipe that you've had recently is if you want, that you'd wanna share with us.

Linda: Oh good. Well, okay, so my lunch today before coming on here was um, two scoops of. Cha Maple, No turn ice cream on a pumpkin donut and

R&R: Oh,

Linda: it [00:44:00] was really, really good. I'm paying for it at the moment, but , it was really good. And this is actually your, a recipe for you guys. It's what I'm working on right now for

R&R: Oh man. Yeah. The ice cream's gonna be on our blog, right?

Linda: yes it is. And I, I will, I definitely have to write it in the post that you must have it on a pumpkin.

R&R: Okay.

Uh, well, she just went up like 10 points in my book, Roni, because she had dessert for lunch. I was gonna say, I think you're the first person who's been like, the best thing that I had recently was dessert for lunch. I Roni is a dessert for breakfast person. Yes. I'm calling you out. But she, she loves it.

Mm-hmm. . Um, but I'm really, I'm just proud of you. Like, Good for you.

Linda: It's a necessity, right? Ice cream's gonna melt. What am I gonna do with it?

R&R: Eat it 

Linda: yeah, you gotta eat it.

R&R: Uh, that is awesome. I love it. Uh, I, we loved our time with you. This was so fun. Um, thank you for this great list and just for being a blogger for us. We love you and it's, uh, been a great combo.

Linda: Yay Thanks [00:45:00] guys.

Roni: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Plan to Eat podcast. We love hearing different approaches to food, and we hope that you enjoy hearing it too.

Riley: We would love to invite you to find all the recipes mentioned on the Plan to Eat podcast, um, in our podcast account on Plan to Eat you can go to that's PT, E P O D and the variety of recipes that you've heard about and the variety of eating types that we talk about, those can all be found in that account.

Roni: Thanks again for listening.